Rated R (for some slashyness and language)
Short fic. Xander dies. Spike lets him.

He Cares


Being dead is really kinda nice. You get to be all floaty and nothing bothers you anymore. Seeing the body I just left doesn't bring on any panic, which it really should considering how I look. Floating over my friends waiting just down the hall, seeing the tears, the concern, the pain… it just doesn't matter. Once, seeing them that way would have made me feel good, that they cared. It also would have made me feel bad, that I hurt them that much.

It doesn't now. It's just nice. I think about things from when I was alive, even the royal fuck-up that brought me to this place, but there's no emotion attached to any of it now. They're just thoughts, the movie of my life playing in my head. Do I even have a head now? I guess I do if I can think, but it's dreamy here and the hours and hours of pain are only a memory…

Slamming back into your body at a trillion miles per hour hurts like a sonovabitch. And, dammit, I wish they would stop doing that! How many times are they going to bring me back before they get the idea that I'm supposed to be DEAD?

Why can't I make them hear me? I can hear them. Why can't they understand that I want to go now? It hurts and hurts and hurts and I just want it to stop.

'The doctors are surprisingly good here.' All these years and Giles still sounds surprised that anything in Sunnydale could be as good as England. Or maybe it's just that he can't think of anything else to say. What is there to say, really?

'They don't know if there was brain damage or not. We just have to wait. Xander's strong, he'll make it… he'll be fine.' Willow, ever optimistic, even through the tears. Why is she letting them do this to me though? I thought she knew me. I mean we never talked about it, specifically, but she should know I wouldn't want this, right?

'I hate that there's nothing we can do. There should be something, shouldn't there?' Silence answers her. 'I shouldn't have sent him there. I should have gone to the store and sent him to the warehouse. It should have been me!' Action-Buffy with a side order of Guilt-Buffy. Three years after her own death and resurrection and she still hasn't learned that she's not the center of the universe. I don't mean that in a snarky way, I just mean that she still thinks everything is somehow her fault or her responsibility.

'I've heard that… that people can hear you when they're in a coma. Maybe.. maybe we should take turns talking to him." No, Tara, I don't want to hear any of it, I just want you all to let me go.

"I always knew you were a quitter, whelp."

Haven't been called that in years and I'd almost forgot the sting it causes. He has no right to be here, to say that. He forfeited that right when he left. Left town. Left me, a note on my pillow, 'I have some things to do. Don't look for me, I'll be back.' Five months with not a word and now here he is.

"Don't have much time, they'll be back soon." Cold against my hand, a light squeeze. "You look a mess, you do. Still have all your… well, most of your parts. Chart says they carved out a few bits, but you could do without them. Wish I could have been there when they opened you up. Liked to've seen what you look like inside." Rustle of paper. "Hmm, resuscitated three times, Pet? I guess you're not a quitter, after all. Looks like they're not giving you very good odds on number four though."

Spike doesn't seem to have the 'talk former lover out of a coma' down very well. Can't say I'm shocked, he never was one for much sentiment, being an evil vamp and all. Pillow talk consisted mainly of how he wanted to fuck or be fucked next, where we could go party next, how to kill things in inventive ways, why it was so much more fun to be evil than not and a few times, gory stories of his past. And he would never let me get away with the 'my life sucks' thing for more than a few minutes. Maybe that's why I ended up in some type of twisted "relationship" with him. He told things straight. The words hurt sometimes, but, in the end, he'd seen through the bullshit. It's nice to hear his voice again even if he's not saying things I want to hear. There's a few clicks that I don't understand and then I hear him moving to the other side of the bed.

"If you want to go, go now. The machines are off and I won't run and get anyone, so now's your chance." Dip in the bed and a slight weight all along my side. Familiar. "Wish you wouldn't go, but I know it must hurt. So.. just… Bloody Hell, Xander! You just couldn't wait, could you? I told you I'd be back"

Fuckin' typical Spike. Self-centered prick. Thinks I did this because of him. I didn't intentionally step in front of a truck. A fucking demon came up behind me and threw me in front of it! I mean, yeah, I was still a little confused, and maybe a little sad, about his leaving, but really, why would anyone pick 'hit by large truck' as a method of suicide?

If I wasn't in a coma, I'd laugh. Laugh at how egotistical he really is and the fact that, of all of them, he's the one being the kindest. Evil, unsentimental vampire guy, not wanting me to suffer. He's willing to let me go. He cares enough to let me go. He cares.

He cares. He was coming back.

And now, I don't want to go. Not yet. I want to find out why he left, where he went, what he had to do that was so important.

I should be dead. I have been dead several times and I thought it was what I really wanted. It hurts to live, even when you haven't been hit by a truck. It hurts even worse when you have.

I want to roll over and ask him why he couldn't have given me a chance to ask him to stay… or to take me with him… but it's getting so hard to breath. And I can't really feel him anymore. Is he still talking to me?

"Love you, Xander. I'll miss you." Pressure on my lips…

…and I'm floating again.

The End

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